The Pharisees Rebuked
²²Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw.
²³All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?”
²⁴But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.” ²⁵And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.
²⁶If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? ²⁷If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges.
²⁸But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
²⁹Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.
³⁰He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
The Unpardonable Sin
³¹Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
³²Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
Words Reveal Character
³³Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.
³⁴You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
³⁵The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.
³⁶But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.
³⁷For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The unpardonable sin
Jesus says in Matthew 12:31, 32 that blaspheming the Spirit will not be forgiven.
Many sincere believers have struggled with this.
There are those who have come into psychological distress because they thought they had committed this sin, others have even committed suicide.
How are we to see the blasphemy of the Spirit that is not forgiven?
Jesus heals a demoniac who is both blind and dumb (Matthew 12:22).
So this blindness and stupidity had a very clear demonic origin.
- The crowd sees in this miracle of the exorcism and healing that Jesus is the Messiah (Matthew 12:23).
- But the Pharisees attribute this miracle to Beelzebul, the prince of the evil spirits (Matthew 12:24; Cf. Matthew 9:32-34).
However, Jesus shows the ridiculousness of what the Pharisees are doing.
An inner division would mean the downfall of the devil’s realm.
Therefore, it is inconceivable that the devil would use Him to cut himself (Matthew 12:25,26).
Only one conclusion remains: The work of Jesus is a work of the Spirit of God.
Indeed, throughout the Old Testament, the Spirit is seen as the great gift of the time of salvation to which the believers at that time looked forward (cf. Joel 2:28,29).
In Jesus the Kingdom of God comes to men, He binds the devil (Matthew 12:28,29; Cf. Isaiah 49:24,25).
The Pharisees see that here, but they deny the working of the Spirit in it (cf. Mark 3:30).
That is blasphemy against the Spirit, which is a very serious matter.
If you once did go against the Spirit, it was not blasphemy against the Spirit as meant in this verse. But when you systematically, time and again, resist its action and harden yourself, you are treading on thin ice.
Such is the case with the Pharisees.
They sin knowingly (cf. Numbers 15:30,31; Hebrews 10:26,27).
Why is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit not forgiven?
Not because the LORD does not want to forgive, but because someone who blasphemes the Spirit consciously turns against the saving work of Jesus, and in this way shuts himself off from forgiveness.
But where one — even with the greatest sin — seeks Jesus, there is no blasphemy against the Spirit.
- How about your speaking? (cf. Matthew 12:33-37)
- Ask the Lord to help you always stay very close to Him.
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